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Sunday, February 20, 2011

What Would Mr. Rogers Do?


Public broadcasting has been part of our lives for a LONG time. Here's Alice at about 1 year old, with her mom, Annie Lin, and Mr. Rogers. Public Broadcasting is probably as much a part of your family as it and Mr. Rogers are a part of ours.

Why does Public Broadcasting deserve the small investment of support it receives? Simple. It changes lives. How's that for "ROI?" Public Broadcasting has faced relentless attempts to eliminate it. Why is that? Why would Public Broadcasting so frequently be on the chopping block? More importantly, why have these attacks historically failed?

Mr. Rogers himself defended Public Broadcasting decades ago. His comments ring true today.


It was 1969 when Fred Rogers from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to express his disagreement with a proposal by President Richard Nixon to cut federal funding for public broadcasting. Rogers detailed the guiding influence of television, and helped sway the Senate’s decision to leave funding for public broadcasting intact.


More than 40 years later, public media faces an even greater challenge. Several bills now before Congress would eliminate funding for public broadcasting. Unlike previous attacks on public broadcasting, the bill just passed by the House will zero out funding for public broadcasting immediately. These funds are used to keep your local public broadcasting stations on the air with high-quality non-commercial programming with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children, minorities, and low-income Americans.

The unique thing about public broadcasting is and always has been a commitment to make sure every American, regardless of financial ability or cultural background, has access to education, lifelong learning, arts, culture, and civilized discussion about the issues facing us today. This programming is available without a subscription fee or special decoders--just turn on your radio or television, and it's there for you.

170 Million Americans use Public Broadcasting each month. Help us tell Congress that funding for public broadcasting is too important to eliminate. Take 30 seconds, and add your name in support of public media.


Won't you be our neighbor?

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